The ZF Group has revealed that external airbags could reduce the severity of accident injuries by as much as 40 percent. The car parts manufacturer also has a strategy for how the technology could be developed moving forward. While Montana drivers won't want to hold their breath for them, external airbags may eventually become standard in most vehicles.
ZF's external airbags go on the sides of a vehicle to provide an added crumple zone should a side collision occur. One challenge is to ensure that the airbags deploy a split second before the actual crash; after all, external airbags provide a more drastic solution than other systems, which tighten the seatbelt or adjust the suspension when they sense a collision.